Deciding what to take for a trip to Mars starts with understanding the weather and atmosphere. During summer, the temperature can get up to 20 degrees C but at night it plummets to around minus 73 degrees C. The atmosphere is 100 times thinner than Earth’s and 95 percent carbon dioxide. The thin atmosphere allows high levels of space radiation to reach the surface. So best to be prepared!
What are the 10 things we’d pack for a trip to Mars?
Modern Martian Spacesuit
To survive the hazardous Martian environment, a well-engineered spacesuit is the apparel of choice. It needs to keep astronauts warm, contain all sorts of gadgets such as lights and cameras and carry a portable life support system for breathable air.
Portable Solar Power Kit
You really don’t want to see a ‘low battery’ icon on your life support system so a spare solar panel or two will be handy.
Water Purifying System
We know there is water ice on Mars but whether that water is suitable for humans is up for debate. So before adding some ice to your first Gin and Tonic to celebrate your safe arrival, check it for any Martian nasties.
Your freeze-dried foods and canned goods won’t last forever so a variety of fruit and veggie seeds will spice up your culinary efforts. Learning how to make veggie burgers is probably a good idea too.
Although luggage will be at a premium, cram as much as you can into your medical kit. We’re thinking eye wash in case you get caught in the inevitable Mars dust storm. Sleeping pills for your long journey home, drugs to relieve nausea due to motion sickness and a pain medication would top the list.
Boredom will be a huge factor when deciding what to pack, especially on your 9-month journey to get to Mars. You will need your laptop with plenty of movies and music uploaded, plus digital books (real books will be too heavy!). Oh, and your phone of course to take those Martian selfies!
2 Way Radio With inbuilt GPS Tracking
Communications will be a ‘must have’, as phone towers on the red planet are few and far between! Advanced ‘coms’ that also track your location for colleagues back at base camp, monitoring expeditions, will be a critical safety net. You cannot get more remote than this!
Air Freshener and Foot Powder
Let’s face it, you will be in cramped quarters for up to three years so to ensure harmony amongst the crew, these are essential items.
Tracky Dacks x 3
This is essential crew wear whilst working or relaxing within the Mars Habitat. Throw in a couple of pairs of thermal underwear, beanie and sleep socks and you are sorted!
Yes, we know there is a baggage limit with your direct flight to Mars but you just need to add some chips, crackers, and beef jerky. They don’t weigh much. And at least 100 Mars Bars! That should get you through!
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